Lutefisk is one of those foods that was probably destined to stay regional. There's something about a dried fish soaked in a lye solution that attracts only the most adventurous foodies. It's a dish only a mother could love, or more specifically, only a Norwegian mother. Over the course of as many as eight days, dried whitefish is soaked in water and a lye-based mixture in order to rehydrate the fish, causing it to swell and lose about half of its protein in the process. This leaves the fish with a jelly-like consistency that's very much an acquired taste. Norwegian-Americans eat the salty fish on Thanksgiving and Christmas, and in some Midwestern states, you can find it prepared in grocery stores and restaurants. Eating the fish is linked to courage and hardship.